Chuck Billy, Pomo, was honored last week by the California State Assembly for being a positive influence on American Indian youth.
Billy grew up on the Hopland Indian Reservation, located north of San Francisco. He is the lead singer of the metal band Testament, and is the first Native American entertainer to be permanently featured in the memorabilia display at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"The world of music is inhabited by creative and talented individuals whose work enhances the quality of life for all who are fortunate enough to have entered their sphere of influence," said Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley). "Not only does Chuck Billy embody all of these admirable qualities, he also personifies the strength and enduring spirit of Native Americans."
Billy has frequently worked his Native heritage into Testament's music, notably on such tracks as "Trail of Tears," "Allegiance," and "Native Blood."